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Sun-dried Tomato Pesto: A Flavourful Twist on a Classic

Sun-dried tomato pesto is a delightful variation of the traditional basil pesto that adds a rich, tangy flavour to your dishes. Growing up, I always loved the classic green pesto, but discovering sun-dried tomato pesto was a game-changer. It brings a depth of flavour that is both intense and comforting, perfect for elevating simple meals into gourmet experiences. Whether you’re spreading it on a sandwich, mixing it with pasta, or using it as a dip, this sun-dried tomato pesto will quickly become a favourite in your kitchen. Let’s explore the ingredients that make this pesto special and learn some tips and tricks to make the perfect batch every time.

Basic Ingredients for Sun-dried Tomato Pesto


Sun-dried Tomatoes: These tomatoes add a tangy sweetness to the pesto, making it unique and flavourful.

Pine Nuts: These nuts provide a creamy texture and a nutty flavour that complements the sun-dried tomatoes perfectly.

Parmesan Cheese: Adds a salty, umami richness that enhances the overall flavour of the pesto.

Garlic: Fresh garlic cloves offer a pungent, savoury depth to the pesto.

Fresh Basil Leaves: The classic herb in pesto, basil adds a fresh, aromatic quality that balances the richness of the sun-dried tomatoes and nuts.

Salt and Pepper: Essential seasonings that enhance all the flavors in the pesto.

Crushed Red Pepper Flakes: Optional, but they add a subtle heat that can make the pesto more exciting.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil: The base of the pesto, olive oil provides a smooth texture and rich flavour.

Alternative Ingredients

Walnuts or Almonds: Substitute for pine nuts if you prefer a different nutty flavour or have pine nut allergies.

Romano Cheese: Use instead of Parmesan for a slightly sharper, saltier taste.

Spinach or Arugula: Mix with basil or use instead of basil for a different green flavor profile.

Sunflower Seeds: An alternative to pine nuts that still provides a creamy texture but is often more affordable.

Preparation Tips for Sun-dried Tomato Pesto

  • For the best flavour, use high-quality sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil.
  • Toast the pine nuts lightly before adding them to the food processor to bring out their nutty flavour.
  • Gradually add the olive oil while the food processor is running to ensure a smooth, well-blended pesto.

Serving Tips for Sun-dried Tomato Pesto

  • Serve as a dip with fresh vegetables or crusty bread.
  • Spread on sandwiches or wraps for an added burst of flavour.
  • Use as a base for tarts or pizzas.
  • Toss with your favourite pasta for a quick and delicious meal.
  • Mix into soups or stews for an extra layer of flavour

Storage Tips

  • Store the pesto in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5-7 days.
  • For longer storage, freeze the pesto in ice cube trays and transfer the frozen cubes to a freezer bag. This way, you can use just the amount you need without defrosting the whole batch.

Sun-dried Tomato Pesto (Full Recipe)

Sun-dried Tomato Pesto

Servings: 1 cup
Prep Time: 9 minutes


  • 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • cup pine nuts
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes, optional
  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil


  • Place the sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, garlic cloves, basil, salt, pepper, and chilli flakes in the bowl of a food processor. While the food processor is running, gradually add the olive oil until all the ingredients are fully blended.
  • Store in an airtight container, cover, and refrigerate for 5-7 days.
  • Serve as a dip, spread on your sandwich, as the base of your tart, or with your pasta.

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